The mainstream media has not really paid a price for its irresponsible reporting. The story that came out last weekend about President Trump asking Michael Cohen to lie was proven false, yet no penalty was paid. There were no read consequences–people who saw President Trump as evil incarnate continued to do so and people who distrusted the media continued to do so. The story about the Covington high school boys is a little different. False reporting has resulted in death threats, the school being closed for security reasons, and other serious matters. So what should be the consequences of spreading the lies and piling on?
The American Thinker posted an article today that provides a clue to some of the possible fallout from the false reporting.
The article reports:
The ongoing campaign of hate against children from Kentucky guilty of being Catholic, being (mostly) white, and wearing MAGA caps will not end until there are legal consequences. Fortunately, the wheels of justice already are turning in Kentucky, albeit at a pace that is frustrating to those who operate at internet speed. But the prospect of Kentuckian jurors judging those who libel or threaten their children is delightful. There are two separate avenues available, and both are being explored by people ready and willing to act.
The more serious path to legal relief was articulated by Kenton County (which contains Covington) prosecutor Rob Sanders.
The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday:
Rob Sanders, a Kenton County Prosecutor, confirmed Tuesday that there are multiple investigations into Twitter users who made terroristic threats against Covington Catholic High School.
“We’ve got multiple ongoing investigations into numerous, numerous threats,” Mr. Sanders said Tuesday in a podcast interview with 700 WLW. “There’s probably a dozen law enforcement agencies, if not more involved in this — it’s growing, it’s spreading, there are other jurisdictions now involved in this,” Sanders added.
700 WLW radio host Willie Cunningham brought up the death threats towards the Covington teens made by bluecheck verified accounts on Twitter and asked Mr. Sanders about Kentucky law.
…“What is the Kentucky law about making threats to Covington Catholic specifically? Is there a law against it?” Willie asked Rob Sanders.
“There is. It’s called ‘terroristic threatening’ in Kentucky and it is a felony offense punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison to make a threat of violence to an educational institution, so everyone who makes a specific threat.”
Mr. Sanders made sure to clarify that saying “nasty things” about the Covington kids is not the same thing as making an “actual threat of violence” against Cov Cath or any other school in Kentucky that’s punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison. The punishment can go up to 5 to 10 years if they talk about using a weapon of mass destruction.
The American Thinker article continues:
The other avenue for legal redress is libel suits. Robert Barnes, who reads, tweets about, and occasionally writes for these pages, has stepped up with an offer of free legal representation for libel lawsuits on behalf of the children and already apparently is representing some of them. He has been warning prominent people – such as Rep. Ilhan Omar and New York Times writer Maggie Haberman – to repudiate and apologize for their libels or face a lawsuit.
I do hope these lawsuits are brought in Kentucky. It is a state often dumped on as backward, full of hillbillies and moonshiners. It is also a place with a distinctive local culture and much well deserved pride in is world pre-eminence in thoroughbred horse-breeding and bourbon. I suspect that Kentucky jurors would not take kindly to threats and libels aimed at the children of their state.
I hope that reporting fake news stories that result in cyber bullying becomes outrageously expensive. Maybe that way it will end.